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Monday, November 6 • 13:00 - 13:50
Increasing student motivation through democratization and personalization

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Student learning outcomes are substantially affected by their motivation. Given that students often lack interest in “dry” mandatory courses, one challenge faced by instructors is to motivate engagement with course materials. This presentation reports on a successful approach to increasing student engagement by democratizing (Breen & Littlejohn, 2000; Ellis, 2013; McWilliams, 2015) and personalizing (Clarke, 1991) required writing classes.

UBC’s Arts Studies in Research and Writing (ASRW) teaches academic research and writing in courses that fulfil the Faculty of Arts Writing Requirement for a majority of UBC-Vancouver Arts students. These courses are structured to incorporate several factors that facilitate student learning – namely, “[a]cademic rigor, extensive writing assignments, plentiful opportunities for interaction with faculty, and participation in research” (Harrison & Risler, 2015, pp. 67-68). However, students often enter ASRW courses with low motivation, and some even defer taking them until the last possible opportunity before graduation.

During the 2016—2017 academic year, I democratized and personalized first-year and upper-level required courses, as well as a third-year elective English course—with a view to empowering students and, thereby, promoting engagement with course materials. In this presentation, I will describe my approach and report on my results, drawing out some of the similarities and differences between each student group. These results are drawn from both formal and informal student evaluations, as well as a pre and post-course survey of student attitudes to research and writing.

Participants will be encouraged to reflect on ways they might democratize and personalize their own courses.

Speakers
avatar for Kate Power

Kate Power

Instructor, UBC


Monday November 6, 2017 13:00 - 13:50 PST
Fletcher Challenge Theatre (cap. 200)